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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Do we need snow for Christmas?

I love the sun - I really, really do because I suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Sunshine helps prevent me from becoming a self-destructive, depressed pile of asshole every winter. If you ask my husband he will land firmly on the Sun's side in this discussion. It's one reason, among many, why we love living in  Northern California. It is December and still jeans and t-shirt weather.

It's freakin' bizarre!

We are originally from British Columbia so we are used to suffering through month after month of rain. Not light, 'oh the sky is still blue anyways' sort of rain that we get here in California. Vancouver is more like Gotham City, for months on end - wet, cold, dark and gloomy.

British Columbia
Image by Difei Li via Flickr
Beautiful BC

A few years ago in Van there was so much rain that I actually wore out my umbrellas and boots. It would be dark when I left for work and dark when I walked home. That can be very depressing for a lot of people.

However, Vancouver does have its winter perks. Like it gets snow! Yay! Oh how I miss the snow.

When growing up we would get dumps of it every winter with a good chance that we'd have a nice white Christmas. My brother and I would get bundled up in our outrageously ugly but warm snow suits and make snow angels, snow forts and snowmen. We'd have snowball fights, go sledding and our dogs would get huge icy dingleballs on their legs and britches.

One of my favorite memories to this day is of the winter that my family, friends and neighbors went for a hike through the back woods to a big frozen beaver pond to go skating. My dad made a campfire to warm us up while we drank hot chocolate and ate yummy snacks. I'm also fairly certain there was some coffee, rum and wine flowing about for the adults.

Snow Cat
Image by clickclique via Flickr
I remember my neighbor Shelley teaching me how to skate backwards. I remember bruising my butt with a spectacular slip and fall and having to skate around roots breaking through the ice in order to play some ice hockey.

Once all of us kids were worm out and seated around the fire roasting marshmallows, my dad, having just finished splitting up some firewood, stuck the ax into the tree that we were all sitting under. The snow-leaden tree.

I will never forget the sound it made. Sounds are muffled, almost deadened in a way, out in the middle of a snow-covered forest. There was a muted 'thunk', moments later followed by a tinkling, like a hundred pattering frozen mice feet up in the branches of the huge fir tree. Then it got louder...and louder... until we were pelted by millions of snow crystals that had been knocked loose by the impact of the ax.

We were all left sitting there like a merry band of snow people. There was a short moment of stunned silence before hilarity ensued. Shaking ourselves off, we teased my dad relentlessly and got back to our marshmallows. (Luckily the snowfall hadn’t put out the fire).

It's those memories which make me a little sad that Ender doesn't get to see snow. We could head up to Tahoe but with Rich's schedule it's not always an option for us to get away. I’m not complaining, we knew when he took his job that this is what we were signing up for.

Maybe next year we will get back to BC for the holidays. Until then we’ll just have to plan a Christmas Pool Party. Or maybe we’ll get a little bit of rain and have an excuse to light the fireplace!

English: Trees covered by snow in Boreal, Cali...
Image via Wikipedia

This year the holidays will be what we make them. I’m still going to drink my Baileys and coffee on Christmas morning while all of us, surrounded by pretty decorations and dressed in our Christmas PJ’s, unwrap a few gifts and, as Clark Griswold famously said, “We're gonna have the hap hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye”.


mauishopgirl said...

I've lived in Hawaii since I was three and have done just fine without a snowy Christmas :-) I'd much rather submerge myself in the ocean after opening my presents.

But, it's all relative, right? The snow is nostalgic for you as the ocean is for me. I'd miss it greatly if I moved to the middle of the mainland.

Jennifer said...

I know what you mean - I live in South Florida and it was in the 80s yesterday. Hard to get into the holiday spirit when it's that hot. We normally go to visit family in Georgia and South Carolina, so at least it feels like Christmas for a week. I normally doesn't snow there, but at least it doesn't feel like summertime, either.

As far as going to Tahoe, I'm so jealous that you are so close. I'm originally from Southern California and used to go to (South) Tahoe a bunch. It was a long drive from L.A., but worth it. Such great skiing. Definitely try to make a trip if you can - then post pictures so I can be jealous.

Just wanted to let you know how much I love your blog. Of to add you to my g+ circle and email subscribe!

Tracy said...

Aw Jennifer - your comment made my morning! Probably my whole dang day!

So South Florida is even hotter than here - you will most definitely get to pool party for xmas.

We've only been to Tahoe once in our 2+ years of living down here but I'm hoping to get E somewhere, anywhere, for a romp in the snow this year.

Have a great day :)

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